Written by Serene Joshua, a second-year undergraduate student
ChatGPT, explained in 3 quick points
It’s a Chatbot that aims to answer questions like a human
It can write articles, blogs, and e-mails
It can answer complex questions (not always accurate though)
Now, in detail…
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a chatbot that does more than answer questions. It can write emails, articles, and blog posts, and teach and also answer complex questions, to name a few. It’s been hailed as a great software but it comes with its set of challenges. We explore it here.
Tell me more
You might have heard of the term “Chat Bot”, a software that duplicates human-like conversations. Often if you are on a platform a chatbot opens up and starts asking you questions – that’s what it really is – it’s not a real person asking you those questions, but it’s software that’s been trained to do so (more on this below)
Recently, ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) was launched by an artificial intelligence research laboratory named OpenAI, in November 2022.
The term GPT means that it is a dialogue-based AI chatbot, that understands our language and generates detailed human-like written text. So, you might just feel like you’re texting another human and not software!
Through this conversational nature, it provides you with a lot of information and answers questions.
ChatGPT is able to respond to further questions, realize its errors, and challenge inaccurate assumptions.
How does ChatGPT work?
In a nutshell, the way it works is that it is trained by AI and machine learning. You might be aware that machine learning is learning by using data and algorithms to mimic how people learn. So ChatGPT is trained to imitate intelligent human behaviour. This is why it feels like you are talking to a human!
Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into how exactly ChatGPT is trained.
Using supervised learning and reinforcement learning, ChatGPT was based on GPT-3.5, a similar software.
To put it simply, reinforcement learning is learning through trial and error, and supervised learning involves learning by studying current data.
Through this OpenAI has made sure that a user’s conversation with ChatGPT is as smooth as possible. To respond to user requests in a surprisingly human-like manner and to ensure that it makes no mistakes ChatGPT has studied a large amount of text. Users have the option to upvote or downvote the responses they receive from ChatGPT, as well as to submit extra comments in a text field which will continue to improve the software.
That sounds a lot like …. Google
No, ChatGPT is not a search engine, even though it might feel like one.
ChatGPT can, however, perform functions that Google cannot, such as explaining why a certain joke is funny or offering advice on how to fix a specific programming issue.
Because ChatGPT uses the most recent, highly-trained AI processes and helps the user in understanding, it feels as if they are talking to a friend rather than a search engine.
What is so great about ChatGPT?
Talking and asking questions to ChatGPT sounds fun, but what else can it do?
Here’s the super interesting part – the way ChatGPT creates content for websites, responds to customers’ concerns, offers advice, etc., are some of its major advantages.
Writers are now using ChatGPT to write content. Maybe the next article you read will be written by ChatGPT!
Let’s make this simpler to understand
Have you ever wanted to write a song or a poem but needed a push in the right direction? Well, ChatGPT can write a song or a poem based on a user’s command. It’s that simple!
Observing how well ChatGPT explains language, code, and even physics is another noteworthy point. In the future, ChatGPT’s AI teaching abilities will advance and be polished and has the potential to significantly change how students engage with the outside world.
Think about it, wouldn’t it be cool to learn about the revolt of 1857 or fractions from an AI teacher – maybe, or maybe not!
Here’s an example of a question you can ask, and the answer it will give you
A summary of the few things ChatGPT can do
Write articles, blog posts, and social media content (basically write anything)
Answer questions in a chatbot or virtual assistant
Come up with content ideas on any topic
Create quick and easy email responses (basic communication)
Write summaries from long documents
Sounds great, but what’s the catch?
The Drawbacks of ChatGPT
Although it sounds cool and has a great many benefits, there are drawbacks to ChatGPT.
Since it is a brand-new technology, the model hasn’t had enough training yet. As a result, the AI chatbot might give inaccurate information as it can only give answers based on the data that’s been put in and it has been trained on.
OpenAI acknowledged that ChatGPT “sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers”
As stated above, ChatGPT uses the information it is trained on to create content and responses. This can be a dangerous thing – as it may have been trained on inaccurate information,
Also, it may not be able to understand some of the contexts in which it is asked the question.
It is important to know the dangers of potential bias that this may carry. The truth is that the data ChatGPT carries a certain bias, then the answers will reflect that bias.
In a piece for NPR – National Public Radio, which is an American nonprofit media organization headquartered in Washington, D.C – reporter Emma Bowman discussed the risk of students committing plagiarism (presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own) using this AI tool that could produce opinionated or senseless material with a tone of assurance.
Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO, says that “Soon you will be able to have helpful assistants that talk to you, answer questions, and give advice. Later you can have something that goes off and does tasks for you. Eventually, you can have something that goes off and discovers new knowledge for you.”
This is, in our opinion, a double-edged sword – because dependence on ChatGPT can make us believe that everything it says is true when that is not the reality.
ChatGPT, which was first introduced as a prototype (the first version), attracted attention for its thorough responses and clear responses in a variety of subject areas.
Since then, there has been worry that industries that depend on the creation of content, such as people who write plays or music, lecturers, programmers, and journalists, may be replaced.
People have differing opinions about ChatGPT and the dangers it poses – students using it unfairly, or writers using it and posting the content as original, etc
These are the challenges that come up whenever a new technology emerges and they will have to be thought about (there are tools now that say they can detect content written by ChatGPT).
Either way, this is amazing software and for now, using this ChatBot is completely free! Go to chat.openai.com. Click “Sign Up” to set up your account – try and see if you like it!
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